Having journeyed from teenage millionaire to homeless and back, this entrepreneur has many valuable lessons to share.
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In this series called Member Showcase, we publish interviews with members of The Oracles. This interview is with Jon Boles, founder and CEO of Avintiv Media, an award-winning boutique digital marketing agency. It was condensed by The Oracles.
Who are you?
Jon Boles: I’m a serial entrepreneur who is extremely passionate about helping businesses grow. I’ve launched eight successful brands and exited one in 2018. I’m the CEO of an award-winning agency called Avintiv Media, which specializes in branding, custom web design, and digital marketing. Over the past decade, I’ve helped build and consult for over 160 brands across the country, grossing millions for my clients along the way. Some of our high-end clients include Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Maserati.
Another real passion is my high-performance business coaching. Each year I help over 50 entrepreneurs get their lives back by focusing on their health, wealth, business, and overall happiness.
Share an interesting fact about yourself that not many people would know.
Jon Boles: When I was growing up, I was one of the fastest swimmers out of all of my friends. I would blow past people in the water. But I had a serious fear of sharks. (That’s right, in the swimming pool.) That was pretty embarrassing to admit as a kid, and I don’t think I’ve ever told a living soul until now.
My fear started at an early age, but I learned to overcome my fears and cope with what life throws at me.
What are the core values that guide your business, and why did you pick them?
Jon Boles: We have several core values at Avintiv Media: Passion over everything. Leadership, authenticity, and vulnerability. Team is family. Be the white knights.
Our clients’ livelihoods depend on us succeeding. So no matter what’s going on in the world, we come to work with passion. We need to be impactful leaders because others are depending on us to pull through, even when times get tough. Authenticity and vulnerability are key to great relationships and a phenomenal culture. Our company isn’t like most companies; we’re family. We treat each other with respect, loyalty, and love. We’re the white knights because a lot of our clients had horrible experiences before us, and we’re here to save the day.
What did you learn from your favorite mentor?
Jon Boles: My good friend and life coach, Chris Lee, told me, “How you do anything is how you do everything.” I’ll never forget that because it’s changed my life forever. It’s so simple but so valuable.
If you press snooze in the morning, that will show up elsewhere in your life. If you decide not to clean your house or your car, that will show up in your business. You can’t just be great in a few areas and slack on the rest. That’s not how it works. This has helped me so much in my own life that I’ve coached more than 40 clients this year to apply it to theirs as well.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Jon Boles: I would tell that young and eager guy to slow down and focus on the long game. You don’t need to prove anyone wrong or become an overnight success. Just focus on becoming a better version of yourself while chasing passion over money.
Find out what truly sets a fire inside of you and figure out how that one thing could provide tremendous value to others. If you can use that gift to leave the world a better place, the money will always follow. You have a long life ahead of you, so remember to enjoy it. Focus on relationships and experiences, not working 24/7.
How do you define great leadership?
Jon Boles: A great leader is someone who is authentic to the core. They lead for a reason bigger than themselves. They are selfless, with a greater mission than just personal gain. They have a vision worth sacrificing for.
The leaders I look up to would give the shirts off their back to those in need and would never put anyone down. They understand the end vision and guide others toward it, which is not an easy job.
How do you identify a good business partner?
Jon Boles: Good business partners complement each other, with qualities the other is missing. So when I look for business partners, I look for someone with superb operations experience so they can run the business while I focus on my area of genius. Or I look for a more experienced financial partner who can be an advisor from 20,000 feet up.
Everything I do comes down to vision. If our visions don’t match up, it will never be a good fit for me. I need to understand that we agree on the end destination so there aren’t surprises or resentment over time.
How do you prevent burnout?
Jon Boles: This is a good question. I worked 100 hours a week for years, so I’ve hit burnout many times. I found out the hard way that working that much without taking care of your health results in multiple hospital visits.
I’m very big on my morning and nightly rituals. I start every day at 6 a.m. with a workout, then calm down with 15 minutes of meditation followed by reading. I also started outsourcing everything that’s outside my zone of genius. That creates “me time” so I stay sane. Yoga, breathing exercises, and journaling also do wonders for your mind, body, and soul.
What are three things you would like to be doing in three years?
Jon Boles: I would like to be traveling the world and getting more culture in my life. I’ve been an entrepreneur for 10 years, and haven’t been able to experience the world outside of work trips. Now I am setting up my companies to run without me so I can just check in from a laptop wherever I am.
I want to write a book to tell my story. I went from making millions before I was 18 to losing it all and being homeless, to building an empire that helps give entrepreneurs their lives back. Another focus of mine is public speaking. I want to impact millions by selling out auditoriums and sharing the stage with the best speakers in the world.
What do you want to be known for, or what do you want your legacy to be?
Jon Boles: I’m on this planet to help entrepreneurs and others get their lives back. I want them to realize that anything is possible, and to believe in themselves enough to make a difference and live their best life.
I want to help businesses thrive, but more importantly, I want to give others the tools and resources to know that they are good enough for anything that comes their way. When you are fearless and beyond happy, nothing will stop you from being successful.
Connect with Jon on LinkedIn.